Skip to main content

Blues-Flames Preview @NHLdotcom

GAME: St. Louis Blues (15-31-8) at Calgary Flames (32-17-7).

TIME: Friday, 9 p.m. EST.

The St. Louis Blues are playing their best hockey of the season and look to win their fifth straight game over the Northwest Division-leading Calgary Flames at Pengrowth Saddledome.

The Blues have won a season-high three straight games and are coming off a 4-2 win Wednesday over the Vancouver Canucks.

St. Louis has not won four straight games since March 25-30, 2004.

"We're not going to quit," Blues right wing Keith Tkachuk said. "We're going to keep going after everybody."

Tkachuk had a goal and two assists against the Flames in a 3-2 shootout victory earlier this season, and has 10 goals and 11 assists in 14 games this season. He has recorded a point in all four games since missing 22 games with a broken knuckle.

The Blues have been surprisingly successful recently at Calgary, where they have not lost since a 3-2 defeat Feb. 28, 2002. St. Louis has seven wins and a tie in its last 12 games at Pengrowth Saddledome.

Starting goaltender Curtis Sanford suffered back spasms early in the first period Wednesday, and backup Patrick Lalime made 19 saves in his first NHL action since Dec. 10.

"It's a tough way to go in, he hasn't played in a while," Blues coach Mike Kitchen said. "But he stepped in and he was the difference. He protected that lead for us and played really well."

Lalime was sent to the minors despite a $2.4 million salary after struggling to a 3-11 record and an NHL-worst .866 save percentage early this season. But he has playwed well against the Flames, compiling a 6-1-1 record with a 1.86 goals-against average and .941 save percentage lifetime.

Petr Cajanek and Vladimir Orszagh each had a goal Wednesday and carry five-game point streaks into this contest.

Calgary, playing its final game before the Olympic break, is 7-1-1 in its last nine home games and coming off a 3-1 win Wednesday over the Anaheim Mighty Ducks.

Miikka Kiprusoff made 31 saves while Matthew Lombardi, Daymond Langkow and Chris Simon scored power-play goals for the Flames.

"We have a hard-working team that sticks together every night," Simon said. "Good things are going to happen when you bring that intensity every game."

Kiprusoff is 19-4-3 with a 1.70 GAA at home, where he has posted five of his six shutouts. The goaltender, who opted to rest during the Olympics instead of represent his native Finland, is looking forward to the break to heal a nagging hip injury.

"For sure this will be a great thing for me," Kiprusoff said. "I've been waiting and if I can get myself back to 100 percent, that would be great.

With a five-game homestand following the Olympic break, Calgary does not play again on the road until March 12 in Colorado.

STANDINGS: Blues - 38 points, 5th place, 43 PB, Central Division. Flames - 71 points, 1st place, Northwest Division.

TEAM LEADERS: Blues - Dean McAmmond, 15 goals; Cajanek, 28 assists; Scott Young and Cajanek, 35 points; Barret Jackman, 103 PIM. Flames - Jarome Iginla, 25 goals and 43 points; Dion Phaneuf, 23 assists; Darren McCarty, 82 PIM.

SPECIAL TEAMS: Blues - Power play: 15.6 percent (56 for 358), 24th in NHL. Penalty killing: 81.2 percent (263 for 324), 19th. Flames - Power play: 18.3 percent (61 for 334), 11th (tied). Penalty killing: 82.4 percent (285 for 346), 14th.

GOALTENDERS: Blues - Sanford (9-12-4, 3 SO, 2.90 GAA); Lalime (3-11-4, 0, 3.87). Flames - Kiprusoff (29-14-7, 6, 2.23); Brian Boucher (3-6-0, 0, 3.87).

SEASON SERIES: Blues, 1-0.

LAST MEETING: Jan. 30; Blues 3-2 (SO). At St. Louis, rookie Lee Stempniak scored the tying goal and then netted the winning shootout goal in the fifth round.

ROAD/HOME RECORDS: Blues - 6-16-5 on the road; Flames - 19-5-3 at home.

View More

The NHL uses cookies, web beacons, and other similar technologies. By using NHL websites or other online services, you consent to the practices described in our Privacy Policy and Terms of Service, including our Cookie Policy.